Ipswich, QLD - St Mary's Catholic

Year Built: 1849

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Saint: Mary

Address: Corner Elizabeth Street & Roseberry Parade, Ipswich, Queensland, 4305

Architect: J. P. Donoghue

Traditional Owners: Jagera, Yuggera, Ugarapul people

Last Updated: 24/04/2024

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History and Architecture:

Moves to establish a Catholic Church in the area were led by Walter Freney, W.J. de Lange and Lionel Mellish who approached Archbishop Duhig on behalf of the increasingly large Catholic community in the area, stressing "the long distance to St Joseph's Church, Kangaroo Point, over which they had to walk every Sunday morning to attend Mass." Duhig bought the property in October 1912 for £700.

The Church was first established in 1849. Father William McGinty, from Northern Ireland, took charge of Ipswich Parish in 1852 and had the first Saint Mary's Church built. This building was described as "a rude slab building of small dimensions, without glass windows, only shutters." In 1862 this church was later demolished and replaced by a Gothic stone which cost £7,000.

The foundation stone of the current church was laid in 1900 by His Grace, Archbishop Dunne, assisted by Father Horan. Stone from the old church was to be used in the new church. On the 2nd of October, 1904, the church was officially blessed and opened by His Eminence Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney.

The church and adjacent primary school were designed by J. P. Donoghue.


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1848 - 1850 Father Luckie
1850 - 1852 Father Dowing
1852 - 1862 Father William McGinty 1871
1862 - 1862 Father Pere Cusse
1862 - 1873 Father Henri Brun 1895
- Father John O'Reilly Asst
1873 - 1917 Father Andrew Horan PP 1924
1873 - Father Peter Capra Asst 1907
- Father James Enright Asst 1921
- Father Matthew Ryan Asst 1920
- Father Michael J. O'Flynn Asst 1935
- Father William O'Flynn Asst 1942
- Father William Cashman Asst 1942
- Father Albert J. Wright Asst 1955
- Father Martin P. Mulhall Asst 1908
- Father Thomas Enright Asst 1919
- Father Michael Potter Asst 1944
- Father James Duhig Asst 1965
- Father Patrick Brady Asst 1954
- Father M. Masterson Asst 1954
- Father D. O'Keefe Asst 1956
1951 - 1976 Monsignor Timothy Molony PP 1976
- Father Dennis Power Asst 2007
- Father John Maguire Asst
- Father Anthony Carroll Asst
- Father Brendan Dooley Asst 1933 2016
- Father B. McKeering Asst
- Father Jim Spence Asst
- Father Dwyer Asst
- Father Byrne Asst
- Father John Dobson Asst 1945 2018
- Father Brian McMullen Asst
- Father Patrick Dowd Asst 1934 2021
- Father Harry Bliss Asst
- Father Patrick Stratford Asst
- Father Loe Skelly Asst
- Father Brian Taylor Asst
- Father Stan Griffiths Asst
- Father Paul Rooney Asst
1976 - 1983 Dr Owen K. Oxenham PP
- Father Joe Duffy Asst
- Father Ray Kearney Asst
- Father Graham Gatehouse Asst
- Father Ashley Warbrooke Asst
1983 - 1991 Father Francis Costello PP 1998
- Father John McKeon Asst
- Father Kevin McGoven Asst
- Father Ellis Clifford Asst
- Father Peter Brady Asst
- Father Peter Brannelly Asst
- Father Phillip Grace Asst
- Father Brian Horton Asst
- Father Tatau Siope Asst
- Father Loe Coote Asst
- Father Stephen Bryne Asst
- Father Paul Bryne Asst
- Father Roger Kershaw Asst
- Father Tom Carroll Asst
- Father F. Curley Asst
- Father William Ross Locum
1992 - 2000 Father D. O'Connor PP
- Father Tony Randazzo Asst
- Father Harold Buckley Asst
- Father Peter McCarthy Asst
- Father Paul Murphy Asst
- Father Anthony Mellor Asst
- Father Clem Hodge Asst


There were plans around December 1860 for a pipe organ 'to cost £500' in the new stone church, but the monies raised were used instead to acquire an American reed organ. The current Organ was built by B.B. Whitehouse & Co of Brisbane in 1915. Additions were made c.1917 and restored between 1987-96 by W.J. Simon Pierce of  Brisbane. It has 2 manuals, 19 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action.
For a complete description and photos click here.


1. St Mary's Story A History of St Mary's Catholic Parish Ipswich 1849 - 1999. LH 282.94321 SAI
2. Deceased Clergy in Australia, 1788-2024.
3. Organ Historical Trust of Australia with permission.
4. Heritage Brisbane.